Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Lessons from Walker's recall victory


Wisconsin governor wins recall | June 6

Fiscal lessons from Walker's win

Republican Gov. Scott Walker cruised to a crushing win to keep his job in a state Barack Obama carried by 14 points in 2008. Democratic voters could not ignore the fact that Walker turned a deficit into a surplus while lowering property taxes, creating jobs, and battling and beating the large labor unions' grip on state workers.

Walker actually followed through on his campaign promises and made some enormously hard, politically incorrect decisions that had to be made. The results speak for themselves both in the fiscal turnaround for the state of Wisconsin as well as in the backing of the majority of voters in the state.

Our country wants fiscal responsibility and strong leadership every bit as much as Wisconsin voters do. Genuine leaders will be rewarded and counterfeits exposed. Maybe some of the electorate are sheep who blindly follow their political party, but the recall election proved that voters are waking up.

Jeff Reckson, St. Petersburg

Uneven ground | June 3

Self-defense law too vague

Our Constitution affords us the right of due process. One facet of due process is having a criminal code so explicit that the average person has a clear understanding of what acts are criminal. When a criminal law is written to result in multiple and conflicting interpretations, as the Times investigation has demonstrated in its "stand your ground" review, the judicial doctrine of "void for vagueness" is potentially implicated.

Here is a law that cannot be effectively applied as it requires that the police, prosecution, defense, judge and jury attempt to mentally re-create the circumstance of an assumed conflict and then assess if the "thinking" of defending oneself with a weapon is what a reasonable person would have done in the exact same circumstance. It's mind-reading at best.

Generally, "void for vagueness" is applied as a defense strategy. However, there is no reason the prosecution in the George Zimmerman case cannot bring up the "vagueness" of the "stand your ground" law in pretrial hearings, hopefully leading to a judicial examination of its validity.

Stuart Berney, Tampa

Hidden motivations

This article only begins to illustrate the problems created by passage of the "stand your ground" law. I'm looking forward to part two and hope it includes additional insight into what motivated our legislators to enact it. Their obviously flawed rationale seems void of common sense and the lessons of American history.

Even a superficial scan of past trends reveals a number of periods (such as the 1920s and '30s) when the use of personal firearms was routinely marketed alongside other household products such as pots and pans. There was one famous gun ad in Life magazine depicting a rancher wielding a Thompson submachine gun to fend off would-be rustlers in his front yard.

Florida's legislators, in effect, provided a false and insidious incentive for people to arm themselves. It is clear now that their true motive was to provide a diversion from a dire lack of leadership on more important issues.

Your article shows that our elected politicians made it legally easier to settle petty differences with deadly armed force. Is this what any of us really wants?

Roger Crescentini Sr., Tampa

Zimmerman back in jail | June 4

Killing was easily avoided

George Zimmerman is solemn and worried? He should be. All of this could have been avoided if he had stayed in his car like the 911 operator told him to. What part of "do not pursue" and "stay in your car" does he not understand?

Jackie Thibault, Beverly Hills

Strip clubs swivel for RNC traffic | June 3

Why focus on strip clubs?

How sad that Tampa has so much to offer, yet we have to advertise strip clubs for the upcoming Republican National Convention. This is terrible publicity for our area. If I was the wife, child or relative of someone attending this convention I would be appalled.

There are so many things to see and do in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Why not talk about the Rays, Busch Gardens or our beaches? Let's focus on the good that this area has to offer.

Marreen Majer, Palm Harbor

Meaning of 'marriage' | June 5, letter

A fundamental right

No one has ever explained how my recent marriage to my same-sex partner will influence anyone to commit bestiality or how it diminishes his or her marriage. On the other hand, there is a significant amount of data demonstrating that in states that allow same-sex marriage, the divorce rate has fallen. In Massachusetts, the divorce rate is now at levels last seen in the 1940s.

The writer claims that 20 years ago no one even considered the idea of same-sex marriage. Well, 40 years before that, people in some parts of the country didn't consider the possibility of mixed-race schools, bathrooms and restaurants.

As to the "majority rule" aspect of the argument, the United States is a republic, not a democracy. In a republic, the majority cannot take the rights of the minority away. "Gay marriage" (or as I prefer to call it, "marriage") is a fundamental right to all citizens, not a special right to be allowed to some.

David Schauer, St. Petersburg

Learning from the past

After reading this letter condemning gay marriage, I suggest rephrasing the statement about it being "ludicrous." If we go back 50 or so years, the thought of interracial marriage was thought by many to be "ludicrous."

Enough already: If two people love each other enough to want to spend their lives together, the government should not stand in their way.

Ronald Medvin, Tampa

Simple solution

This letter asks, "If the newspaper advocates expanding the definition of marriage to one group, how can it deny others?" Simple: by limiting "marriage" to two unrelated adult individuals who have decided to make a lifetime commitment of love and responsibility. Just as the law does not currently allow all heterosexuals to marry (you can't marry a minor, or your mother, or your sister), this solution recognizes the importance of the institution for gays and straights alike.

Jonathan Coleman, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17